Dutton's Brentwood/Barry Building

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Dutton's Brentwood/Barry Building

Postby nichols » Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:51 am

LA TIMES

It isn't Dutton's without the building
The Brentwood bookstore wouldn't be the same in a new development.
By Diane Caughey, DIANE CAUGHEY is an architect and Jungian psychotherapist in West Los Angeles.
February 9, 2007

PLENTY OF PEOPLE will tell you that Dutton's Brentwood Books is more than a simple bookshop. It's a landmark, they'll say, a literary oasis, a secular church. But it also represents the perfect union of a building and a business.

Milton H. Caughey, my father, was the architect who designed that building on San Vicente Boulevard, the one that may be demolished in the near future to make way for a retail-office-condo development. He had a master's degree in architecture from Yale, moved to Los Angeles in 1940 and started his practice after returning from the war. He won a number of awards for the homes and schools he designed, but his budding career was cut short. In 1958, when he was 46, my father died of a heart attack, and the name Milton H. Caughey is little known today.

My family lived in Brentwood — in a house designed by my father — and as a child, I would walk to the simple, two-story courtyard building that Dutton's now occupies. Built in 1950, it's a classic example of midcentury California contemporary architecture. It's solar shades foreshadowed today's green design. The simple facade floats above the sidewalk, held up by small steel columns, typical of the modern movement. The openness created below invites you in off the street to enjoy the intimate heart of the building, the courtyard...

http://www.latimes.com/news/printeditio ... 6314.story
Last edited by nichols on Wed Sep 19, 2007 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Vavala » Wed May 02, 2007 10:57 am

LEND YOUR SUPPORT

Brentwood News
May 2007

On Sunday, May 6, at 2 p.m., in the courtyard of Dutton’s Books (11975 San Vicente), Friends of the Barry Building and Diane Caughey will host a casual get-together for anyone interested in learning more about the Barry Building and about the process of moving it toward Los Angeles City Historic-Cultural Monument status. The future of this wonderful example of mid-Twentieth Century architecture that now houses Dutton’s Books is an issue of concern to many people.

Built in 1951 and designed by Brentwood resident, Milton H. Caughey (Diane’s father), the building is known for its delightful green-planted courtyard, surrounded by “book-nooksâ€￾, filled with Dutton’s treasures. A re-development plan threatens the future of this graceful and ecologically-sound California Modern-style structure that has long provided a restful gathering place within our busy Brentwood community.

Guest speakers will include Marcello Vavala and Adriene Biondo from the Los Angeles Conservancy, along with architects who will discuss the building’s unique features and history. A tour of the building’s architectural highlights will be lead by architect Ty Miller. Community support is very much hoped for…and needed! There will be light refreshments and a chance to talk about the issues with knowledgeable people.

Join us on May 6, at 2 p.m., to help move this special piece of our history closer to becoming a protected Brentwood landmark. For more information, contact Diane Caughey at Diane.caughey@gmail.com or Delores at (310) 820-5093.

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Postby Vavala » Fri May 04, 2007 8:20 am

Historic review for Dutton's site
The action could help preserve the bookstore building in Brentwood.

By Martha Groves
Times Staff Writer

Los Angeles Times
May 4, 2007


With architectural photographer Julius Shulman helping to plead the case for the home of Dutton's Brentwood Books, the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission voted Thursday to consider declaring the complex a historic-cultural monument.

Four commissioners voted to follow a staff recommendation that the building warranted further investigation as a well-preserved example of mid-20th century California modern architecture. A fifth commissioner, Carlos Singer, recused himself because of his friendship with David Barry, the man who commissioned the building in 1950 and recently sold it.

Dutton's "represents a wonderful, cherished community center," said Shulman, 96. "There should not be a debate."

The home to Dutton's since 1984, the building is organized around a central courtyard that has long been a neighborhood gathering spot and the setting for hundreds of book signings by the likes of Alice Walker, Margaret Atwood, Tom Wolfe and the late Kurt Vonnegut.

The applicant in the case is Diane M. Caughey, a daughter of Milton H. Caughey, the modernist architect who designed the building on San Vicente Boulevard.

On Sunday afternoon, Caughey plans to lead visitors on an architectural tour of the site.

The building's owner is Charles T. Munger, a prominent attorney and major donor to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and other local arts institutions, who said in January that he planned to redevelop the site as a mixed-use development that would include luxury condos and a ground-level bookstore.

His comments stirred longtime Dutton's customers into action. Caughey and supporters formed Friends of the Barry Building. She gathered historical photos and submitted documentation that won praise from the Los Angeles Conservancy and Cultural Heritage Commission President Mary Klaus-Martin during the meeting at the Woman's Club of Hollywood.

Designation as a historic-cultural monument would not provide an ironclad prohibition against demolition, said Ken Bernstein, manager of the city Planning Department's Office of Historic Resources.

The commission is expected to take a final vote within two months. If it names the structure a historic-cultural monument, the designation will be put to a vote by the City Council.

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Postby kjansma » Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:49 am

Brentwood building owner reworks plans to retain Dutton's
Billionaire would build a retail complex that includes the popular bookstore in lieu of original luxury-condo project.
By Martha Groves
Times Staff Writer

July 6, 2007

Billionaire Charles T. Munger said Thursday that he has scrapped plans to build 60 luxury condos on San Vicente Boulevard in favor of erecting a two-story retail complex that would retain Dutton's Brentwood Books in a new and improved space.

"I was wrong," Munger said of his plans, made public in January, to build high-end residential units as part of a mixed-use development at the property just east of Bundy Drive. The idea sparked an uprising among residents and longtime fans of Dutton's, who feared the store's demise.

Munger, 83, said the neighborhood's staunch opposition to the project and concern for Dutton's prompted his change of heart.

"Bookstores are fragile," he said. "Jostle them slightly and they never reopen. The best thing is to make sure it never closes."

He said he plans to charge Dutton's "a very low rate" to help ensure its survival. The bookstore's new quarters would be built first, Munger said, with the rest of the project going up "in little segments" around it — a method that he said would cost significantly more money.

Doug Dutton, the silver-haired owner of the bookshop, called Munger's new scheme a "blow for literature" that was "wonderful for the store" and "wonderful for the neighborhood."

The current building, home to Dutton's since 1984, is organized around a central courtyard that has been a popular neighborhood gathering spot and the setting for hundreds of book signings by the likes of Alice Walker, Margaret Atwood, Tom Wolfe and Carolyn See.

With its multi-room layout, ripped carpet and overflowing shelves, Dutton's is considered by many to be a city institution and one of the nation's great idiosyncratic bookstores.

A founder of the Los Angeles law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson, Munger partnered in 1978 with Warren E. Buffett to run Berkshire Hathaway Inc., a holding company. He had owned the San Vicente property with his brother-in-law, David Barry, but bought him out several months ago.

Munger said he plans to enter into a partnership with Jim Rosenfield, the lessee who has refurbished and reinvigorated the Brentwood Country Mart on 26th Street near San Vicente. Munger said they plan ample parking, including valet parking underground, and community-serving businesses such as a barbershop and hair salon. He envisions three open-air plazas with an abundance of greenery.

Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who represents Brentwood, said that it was still early in the process and that Munger should continue to get input from residents and other San Vicente Boulevard merchants.

"It's a moving and evolving project," he said. "We'll see how it comes together."

Still unclear is what would happen to the effort of Diane Caughey, daughter of the late Milton Caughey, the building's architect, to have the structure declared a historic-cultural monument.

The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission voted in May to follow a staff recommendation that the building warranted further investigation as a well-preserved example of mid-20th century California modern architecture.

Caughey contended that Munger was hoping his new plan would prompt her and her supporters to cancel a Thursday hearing before the commission. "If we did that," she said, "it would abort the whole process, and Munger would hold all the cards."

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Postby nichols » Fri Jul 06, 2007 1:11 pm

The Conservancy is helping out with this landmark nomination. Come speak for this building if you can.

A G E N D A
CULTURAL HERITAGE COMMISSION
THURSDAY, JULY 12, 2007, 10:00 A.M.

200 N. Spring Street
Room 1060, City Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90012


5. BARRY BUILDING, 11973 WEST SAN VICENTE BOULEVARD, C.D. 11,
CHC-2007-1585-HCM
Determination of Monument Status After Inspection. Motion Required.

Applicant: Diane M. Caughey
Owners: William H. Borthwick and David B. Borthwick
Charles T. Munger and Nancy B. Munger

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Postby nichols » Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:38 pm

LOS ANGELES TIMES

Activists prepare for key meeting on landmark

Preservationists plan to lobby council committee on designating the Barry Building a historic-cultural monument, delaying proposed development.
By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 17, 2007

Proponents of "monument designation" for the building that houses Dutton's Brentwood Books plan to be out in force at a key meeting Tuesday.

That's when a three-member Los Angeles City Council committee will decide whether to recommend to the full council that the Barry Building on San Vicente Boulevard become the city's latest historic-cultural monument.

The designation would force the building's billionaire owner, Charles T. Munger, to engage in a public process to win approval for a planned development at the site. Munger is a founder of the Munger, Tolles & Olson law firm and a partner with Warren E. Buffett in Berkshire Hathaway.

The landmark designation is supported by the Los Angeles Conservancy, the Cultural Heritage Commission, the city planning department's Office of Historic Resources and many Brentwood community leaders. Councilman Bill Rosendahl said he also backs the designation...

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me ... 0224.story

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Postby nichols » Mon Sep 17, 2007 7:21 pm

this was discussed at tonight's modcom meeting. hearing is tomorrow at 2pm rOOM 350 AT cITY hALL.

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Postby nichols » Wed Sep 19, 2007 3:33 pm

LOS ANGELES TIMES

California | Local News
Book News
L.A. panel supports landmark status for site of Dutton's bookstore

City Council must now decide if the Brentwood building will become a historic-cultural monument.
By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 19, 2007

A Los Angeles City Council panel voted 2-1 Tuesday to recommend landmark status for the San Vicente Boulevard building that houses Dutton's Brentwood Books.

The recommendation, strongly opposed by billionaire Charles T. Munger, the property's owner, paves the way for a vote by the full council whether to name the structure a historic-cultural monument.

To applause from Westside constituents, Councilman Bill Rosendahl urged the panel to vote to recommend the 1951 Barry Building, named for the former owner who commissioned it, as a rare example of mid-century modern architecture in a commercial structure...

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me ... 0426.story

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Postby nichols » Fri Sep 21, 2007 9:57 am

Why all the hate over at Curbed?

http://la.curbed.com/archives/2007/09/d ... dances.php

Comments:
1.

I've never seen/heard about this place - how great can it be? Tear it down, move something worthwhile to its location.

By DJJ at September 19, 2007 3:05 PM
2.

I believe in historic preservation AND bookstores but this building is NOT historic although it is a decent bookstore. I understand what is going on here (i.e. stop the development by any means necessary) but PLEASE can't we be honest about stuff like this rather than buying consultants who give us legal ammo that is really not ethical.

All you rich brentwood f's who are trying to stop this: put YOUR money where your mouths are not someone else's and give dutton's a permanent home at YOUR cost. Oh, no. Make someone else pay for it by using a dishonest landmark application. If this place is a REAL landmark I will eat my OED.

Just my 7 or 8 cents.

By annon. at September 19, 2007 6:56 PM
3.

I really agree with the first two comments. This building is no better than any of the mcmansions being built today - it was just a fad of that period of time, has no meaningful archy wonderfulness, and should be torn down to allow Munger to build what he wants but require him to adapt to the architecture of that time, which is fair to both entities, and of course allow Doug to reopen the bookstore if he chooses to.
This is not unlike the Holiday Bowl heresy on Crenshaw Blvd about 2-3 years ago - the inmates are running the asylum!!!

By carter at September 19, 2007 8:28 PM
4.

The local Brentwood paper carried an interview with the owner of Dutton's. He actually would prefer that the building be town down... the maintenance costs are getting too high, and Munger has guaranteed him a new store with a low percentage rent to help ensure that the bookstore survives for many years.

Most people in the area are only concerned about saving the bookstore. It is only the vocal (crazy) minority that are pulling out all the stops to prevent it. f'n degenerates need to find another way to spend their time.

By Resident at September 20, 2007 7:25 AM

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Postby scottkaycee » Fri Sep 21, 2007 12:27 pm

Some people HATE mid-century modernism, it is not enough for them to not like it and leave it for other's to decide. I have encountered people who think you must be certifiable to consider it worthy of preservation, what baffles me is that they have a particular animosity towards it that you get the impression they dont share for a derelict victorian or ho-hum bungalow. It angers them that it even exists. I am not saying that is neccesarily the case here but It has been my experience that they are more vocal then say people who dont care for other architectural styles/periods.

When I was following the historical landmarking of the Pomona Mall I was acosted by a shopkeeper who saw no redeeming value in it what so ever and seemed to think their subjective opinion carried some sort of weight. Since turn of the century buildings had been razed/re-muddled with the Pomona Mall it was merely the cycle of time. But that was exactly the point, how many unique things must be destroyed simply because things were lost in the past. Why not atleast try to make a case for places of significance. It didnt bother me so much that he didnt like the style, but some how they think their opinions carry weight over things like historical significance or notability of the designer irrespective of what they think is ugly/beautiful.
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Postby Perks » Fri Sep 21, 2007 9:02 pm

I guess I'm not the only one who was offered $500 by Charles Munger to post disparaging remarks about the building. :oops:

On a serious note...on my first visit to this building I too saw little redeeming value in it. That was, of course, before I came to appreciate MCM architecture. It's definitely not something that everyone can recognize as worth saving. So many MCM buildings are ugly and old now. It's easier to tear them down and rebuild than to bring them back to their former glory. (Similarly, I have to wonder how many glorious Victorian homes were destroyed when modernism was at its peak?)

The fact that so few appreciate what the building is only speaks further to the need for the buildings to be saved. The worst thing to happen is to realize what is gone only after it's been destroyed.

Some people are only concerned about Dutton's and don't understand the larger context of the building. Dutton's is, indeed, a ramshackle little shop that could use some new digs. But tearing down the building is not the answer.
Andy Perkins, Broker/Owner
Perkins Realty Group

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Landmark Status granted

Postby kjansma » Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:40 am

Dutton's bookstore property gets landmark status
The Brentwood community gets a 180-day reprieve to continue efforts to preserve the structure and, hopefully, the store itself.
By Martha Groves
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

October 3, 2007

To the cheers of Brentwood residents, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to grant landmark status to the San Vicente Boulevard building that houses Dutton's Brentwood Books and has served as a community gathering spot for decades.

The designation was approved on a 14-0 vote and was unopposed by Charles T. Munger, the property's billionaire owner. It paves the way for a 180-day period during which the developer and residents can try to negotiate a compromise that could preserve portions of the mid-20th-century structure and, many bibliophiles hope, Dutton's itself.

The designation does not prevent the owner from developing the property or even demolishing the building. But it creates a review process. If the owner requests a permit for demolition or substantial alteration, he would be required to go through an environmental review process.

Among the three dozen supporters in council chambers were Michael Silverblatt, host of the "Bookworm" program on KCRW-FM (89.9), and actress Donna Mills, who told the council: "It's really important for our children to know we value our history."

Activists had campaigned for months to gain historic-cultural monument status for the 56-year-old building, which features a courtyard and curved stairways. Leading the charge was Diane Caughey, whose late father, Milton, designed the structure.

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Postby nichols » Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:39 pm

DUTTON’S BRENTWOOD CLOSING ITS DOORS

Los Angeles, CA, February 25, 2008 - It is with profound regret and sorrow that Dutton’s Brentwood Books must announce that it will be closing on April 30, 2008...

http://www.booksite.com/texis/scripts/c ... =6716#Find

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Postby nichols » Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:14 am

The new tenant is a coffee house... Caffe Luxxe:

http://la.eater.com/archives/2008/09/30 ... r_comments

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Postby nichols » Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:27 am

Barry Building is on the ModCom agenda for Monday

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Postby nichols » Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:27 am

CURBED

Brentwood's Barry Building Could Come Down
Thursday, July 16, 2009, by Adrian Glick Kudler

The Barry Building, former home of Dutton's Brentwood bookstore, fine example of mid-century office and retail design, and a Historic-Cultural Monument, has been on a preservation rollercoaster for the past few years, and it looks like it's heading into another dip--there are plans to tear the building down and replace it with a retail complex...

http://la.curbed.com/archives/2009/07/b ... n.php#more

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Postby nichols » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:53 am

LATIMES

Tear down Brentwood's Barry Building to save it?
That's what developer Charles Munger contends his plan would do at the former Dutton's bookstore site. Foes, including preservationists, don't see it that way.


By Martha Groves
August 21, 2009

It's safe to say that billionaire investor Charles T. Munger's idea of historic preservation does not jibe with the Los Angeles Conservancy's....

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me ... track=rsse

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Postby nichols » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:01 am

LOS ANGELES TIMES

Brentwood neighbors not sold on developer's vision
Saltair Terrace residents still don't like billionaire Charlie Munger's plans for the site that housed Dutton's bookstore

By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times
April 25, 2010

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me ... 3986.story

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Postby nichols » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:50 pm

CURBED

Brentwood Town Green Renamed Green Hollow Square
Monday, February 28, 2011, by Dakota Smith

...The new name arrives courtesy of the draft environmental impact report for the development, which was released last week. Many of the details have remained. Notably, the developers are still proposing to demolish the 1951 Barry Building, a Historic-Cultural monument, as part of the project...

http://la.curbed.com/archives/2011/02/b ... n-hollow-2

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Postby nichols » Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:51 pm

A G E N D A
CULTURAL HERITAGE COMMISSION
THURSDAY, APRIL 7, 2011, 10:00 A.M.

200 North Spring Street
Room 1010, City Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90012



GREEN HOLLOW SQUARE, 11961-11991 SAN VICENTE, ENV-2009-1065-EIR, CD 11,
COMMISSION DISCUSSION ON DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT FOR
PROPOSED PROJECT IMPACTING HISTORIC-CULTURAL MONUMENT #887: BARRY
BUILDING. Commission Review and Comment

Applicant/Owner: Munger Community Property Revocable Trust

Nancy B. Munger Separate Property Revocable Trust

Barry Family, LLC

http://preservation.lacity.org/

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Postby SFG » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:13 pm

Letters of support for the Barry Building are DUE BY TOMORROW, April 20th.
Check out the history and all the details about the building on the LA Conservancy site and get tips for what to include in your message!

http://www.laconservancy.org/issues/issues_main.php4

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Postby Futura Girl » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:26 am

I just sent my last-minute letter in and encourage others to do the same.

Here are some more links for things to include in your letter:
http://barryfriends.wordpress.com/about/
and
http://www.laconservancy.org/issues/issues_barry.php4

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Postby srk1941 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:01 am

I just sent mine...
Steven Keylon
Village Green - National Historic Landmark

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Postby nichols » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:34 am

Via LAC
Image
The International Style Barry Building (HCM #887) is a significant example of postwar modernism in Los Angeles. Photo by Robert C. Cleveland

The final environmental impact report (EIR) for the Green Hollow Square project was released in late January. The landmarked Barry Building remains targeted for demolition, even though it has been designated by the City of Los Angeles as a Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM).

How You Can Help - Write to Councilmember Bill Rosendahl

PLEASE CLICK BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW YOU CAN HELP

http://www.laconservancy.org/issues/issues_barry.php

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Postby Futura Girl » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:04 pm

thanks for updating this nix.

sent in my letter tonight.
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